Tag: Manufacturing

Leeds manufacturer to supply emergency Excel hospital

A Leeds healthcare manufacturer is supplying equipment to the new emergency hospital being created in London.

Staff at Herida Healthcare are working around the clock to make thousands of specialist mattresses, with the initial delivery to the hospital at the Excel today (Friday 27th).

The air-pump mattresses are designed to reduce the chance of patients developing bed sores and are usually sold to NHS trusts and long-term care homes across the UK and abroad.

Company founder Neil Smith said everyone at the company wanted to help the NHS as much as they could.

“While we all really appreciate the work the NHS does at its centre, the response to Covid-19 needs a chain of suppliers who provide critical links. This includes delivery drivers taking it there, packers, mattress welders, cutters, administrative staff working from home and all others in between.

“Our staff are working so hard and we are all a bit exhausted as we have turned this round in 72 hours, but morale is very high as they are so proud to take part.”

The new hospital at the Excel conference centre in London’s Docklands will initially have 500 beds, rising to 4,000 to cope with the expected increase in Covid-19 patients. Military personnel have been involved in setting up the new facility, which will be called the Nightingale Hospital.

Staff at Herida Healthcare are working shifts over 24 hours to fulfil the initial order, with more orders coming in. All staff are wearing PPE and carrying out social distancing.

The company was only set up in 2016 but has grown rapidly with help from organisations such as Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership (LEP) and Leeds City Council, and AD:VENTURE, which provides support for new businesses in North and West Yorkshire funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF).

It has 42 staff and expanded into a new 30,000 sq ft factory in Morley only a few months ago.

Leader of Leeds City Council Cllr Judith Blake said: “This is great news for Herida Healthcare and I am really proud to see a local up-and-coming company doing its bit to help the national effort.

“UK manufacturing will be a crucial part of tackling this crisis and it shows how the whole country is pulling together to help each other in a time of need.”

Roger Marsh OBE, Deputy Lieutenant and chair of Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership (LEP) and NP11, said: “The swift response by Herida Healthcare to this national call for such an urgent national need is real testament to the region’s manufacturing capability. They are just one of many local businesses who are fundamentally changing their operations to assist at this difficult time, and we must all thank all of those smart people who are driving forward solutions for the national effort.”

For more information on AD:VENTURE go to https://ad-venture.org.uk/

Ripon entrepreneur aims to bring back Yorkshire speaker manufacturing

A Ripon entrepreneur is planning to bring back speaker manufacturing to Yorkshire after experiencing rapid growth in the past year.

BishopSound was set up by Andrew Bishop in 2016. The company’s products sell worldwide and include PA speakers, amplifiers and mixing equipment. Bands such as Elbow, The Courteneers and members of Ocean Colour Scene use BishopSound equipment, and the company also supplies speakers to schools, places of worship, pubs, clubs and DJs.

BishopSound has been able to speed up growth thanks to an £11,000 grant from AD:VENTURE, a business support programme for new businesses in North and West Yorkshire funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF). The grant was used for website development, product photography, a promotional video and IT equipment.

“We’re in a phenomenal growth pattern at the moment – every month we seem to double our turnover compared to the previous year,” Andrew said. “People have latched on to the sound that we create, looked at the price and realised that there’s no point in going anywhere else.

“Without the AD:VENTURE funding, we definitely wouldn’t have been able to operate at the capacity we are currently working at and we’ve been able to speed up our new product plans.”

Andrew set up his business with the aim of bringing back the ‘British Sound’ to the PA speaker industry, which was established in the 1960s when bands such as The Beatles enjoyed worldwide success. UK-made speaker equipment was renowned for its quality but much of the equipment has to be manufactured in China.

Andrew is now developing prototypes with Yorkshire manufacturers with the aim of selling equipment made in our region in 2020.

“We have tried to use as many Yorkshire companies as possible to help us set up the business, and that’s the same for the manufacturing side,” he added. “At the moment 90% of our sales are made overseas but we want to bring more British-made speakers back to the market. We’ve been able to bring forward our plans for that thanks to the rapid growth we have had.”

Councillor Graham Swift, Deputy Leader and cabinet member for resources, enterprise and economic development at Harrogate Borough Council, said: “It’s fantastic to see the success of a local entrepreneur, and hear of their commitment to increase development and production in Yorkshire.  We are delighted to be a partner in the AD:VENTURE programme, directly helping the growth of start-ups. BishopSound is a great example of how that support can unlock the potential of our local businesses.”